The twenty-sixth annual presentation of the American Theatre Wing Tony (Antoinette Perry) awards for excellence in the Broadway theater, telecast live from the Broadway Theatre in New York. This year's program, hosted by Henry Fonda, Deborah Kerr, and Peter Ustinov, presents musical salutes to legends Ethel Merman and Richard Rodgers.

The ceremonies open with a performance of "We Open in Venice" from "Kiss Me Kate" performed by Hal Linden, Constance Towers, Alfred Drake, Larry Blyden, Janet Blair, Lisa Kirk, Barbara McNair, and Helen Gallagher. Then, hosts Fonda, Kerr, and Ustinov offer some introductory remarks and explain the voting procedures. Then, Fonda presents the award for Best Lighting Designer to Tharon Musser ("Follies"); Kerr presents the award for Best Costume Designer to Florence Klotz ("Follies"); and Ustinov presents the award for Best Scenic Designer to Boris Aronson ("Follies").

Next, Kerr introduces a tribute to composer Richard Rodgers during which an extended medley of his hit songs are performed, including the following: "Manhattan" from the musical "Garrick Gaieties"; "Blue Room" from "The Girlfriend"; "My Heart Stood Still" from "A Connecticut Yankee"; "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" from "Jumbo"; "There's a Small Hotel" from "On Your Toes"; "Where or When" from "Babes in Arms"; "This Can't Be Love (St. Valentine's Day Hangover)" from "The Boys from Syracuse"; "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered" from "Pal Joey"; "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" from "Oklahoma!"; "The Gentleman is a Dope" from "Allegro"; "I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy" from "South Pacific"; "Getting to Know You" from "The King and I"; "My Favorite Things" from "Sound of Music"; and "Do I Hear a Waltz" from "No Strings." The medley culminates with Rodgers being presented with a Special Tony Award.

Next, Fonda presents a Special Tony Award to "Fiddler on the Roof" for being Broadway's longest running musical; producer Hal Prince accepts. Then, Jean Stapleton presents the award for Best Supporting Actress, Musical to Linda Hopkins ("Inner City"), and Hal Holbrook presents an award for Best Supporting Actor, Musical to Larry Blyden ("A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"). Next, Joel Grey presents an award for Best Choreographer to Michael Bennett ("Follies"), and Claire Bloom presents an award for Best Director, Play to Mike Nichols ("The Prisoner of Second Avenue"). Then, Fonda presents a medley from "Jesus Christ Superstar" performed by Jeff Fenholt, Yvonne Elliman, and Company.

Then, Peter Falk and Lee Grant present the award for Best Supporting Actor, Play to Vincent Gardenia ("The Prisoner of Second Avenue") and the award for Best Supporting Actress, Play to Elizabeth Wilson ("Sticks and Bones"). Next, Ustinov introduces a tribute to performer Ethel Merman during which she performs an extended medley of songs from her shows, including the following: "I Got Rhythm" from "Girl Crazy"; "Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries" from "Scandals"; "You're an Old Smoothie" from "Take A Chance"; "I Get a Kick Out of You" from "Anything Goes"; "Friendship" from "Red, Hot, and Blue"; "Make It Another Old-Fashioned, Please" from "Panama Hattie"; "You Can't Get a Man with a Gun" from "Annie Get Your Gun"; "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" from "Call Me Madam"; and "Everything's Coming Up Roses" from "Gypsy."

Next, Sandy Duncan and Richard Benjamin present the award for Best Actor, Play to Cliff Gorman ("Lenny") and the award for Best Actress, Play to Sada Thompson ("Twigs"). Then, Beatrice Arthur presents the award for Best Play to "Sticks and Bones" by David Rabe (the award is accepted by Rabe and producer Joseph Papp). Then, Gwen Verdon and Alfred Drake present the award for Best Actor, Musical to Phil Silvers ("A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum") and the award for Best Actress, Musical to Alexis Smith ("Follies"). Then, songs are performed from "No, No, Nanette": "You Can Dance with Any Girl" is performed by Helen Gallagher and Bobby Van and "I Want To Be Happy" is performed by Ruby Keeler and Company. Next, Fonda and Arlene Dahl present the award for Best Director, Musical to Harold Prince and Michael Bennett ("Follies").

Ingrid Bergman presents the award for Best Book, Musical to "Two Gentleman of Verona" by John Guare and Mel Shapiro; the award for Best Score to "Follies" by Stephen Sondheim, who accepts the award; and the award for Best Musical to "Two Gentleman of Verona" (the award is accepted by producer Joseph Papp). The ceremony closes with the traditional final number sung by the evening's winners. Includes commercials.

The acquisition and cataloging of The Theater Collection was made possible by The Park Foundation, Inc., and the Verizon Foundation.


  • DATE: April 23, 1972 Sunday 8:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 2:13:32
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:72387
  • GENRE: Award presentations
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Musical revues, comedies, etc. - excerpts
  • SERIES RUN: ABC - TV, 1972
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - American Express credit cards^TV - Commercials - Lincoln-Mercury automobiles^TV - Commercials - Polaroid cameras


    • Alexander H. Cohen … Producer
    • Roy A. Somlyo … Associate Producer
    • Clark Jones … Director
    • Enid Victor … Direction (Misc.), Associate Director
    • Hildy Parks … Writer
    • Bob Herget … Choreographer
    • Elliot Lawrence … Music (Misc. Credits), Musical Director
    • Henry Fonda … Host
    • Deborah Kerr … Host
    • Peter Ustinov … Host
    • Janet Blair … Performer
    • Larry Blyden … Performer
    • Alfred Drake … Performer
    • Yvonne Elliman … Performer
    • Jeff Fenholt … Performer
    • Helen Gallagher … Performer
    • Ruby Keeler … Performer
    • Lisa Kirk … Performer
    • Hal Linden … Performer
    • Barbara McNair … Performer
    • Ethel Merman … Performer
    • Constance Towers … Performer
    • Bobby Van … Performer
    • Boris Aronson
    • Beatrice Arthur
    • Richard Benjamin
    • Michael Bennett
    • Ingrid Bergman
    • Claire Bloom
    • Arlene Dahl
    • Sandy Duncan
    • Vincent Gardenia
    • Cliff Gorman
    • Joel Grey
    • John Guare
    • Hal Holbrook
    • Linda Hopkins
    • Florence Klotz
    • Ethel Merman
    • Tharon Musser
    • Mike Nichols
    • Joseph Papp
    • Hal Prince (See also: Harold Prince)
    • David Rabe
    • Richard Rodgers
    • Mel Shapiro
    • Alexis Smith
    • Phil Silvers
    • Stephen Sondheim
    • Jean Stapleton
    • Sada Thompson
    • Gwen Verdon
    • Elizabeth Wilson